Canada publishes climate change plan

Canada has published its plan for tackling climate change, which includes emissions trading for large industrial emitters, increased investment in innovative technologies, and taxes.

The Canadian Government launched its plan on 21 November, following months of wrangling with states and industry concerned about the resulting costs (see related story and related story). According to the Government, the new plan takes a number of issues into consideration, such as limiting uncertainties and risks, allowing no one region to bear an unreasonable burden, and the minimisation of costs.

The Government intends to take a step-by-step approach, it says. The first step is an 80 megatonne cut in greenhouse gases combined with 30 megatonnes of carbon sequestration, agreed two years ago, followed by step two, a 100 megatonne cut outlined in the new plan. The country has a target of a 240 megatonne cut in emission by 2012.

Suggestions on how step two can be achieved, include a 25% improvement in average vehicle fuel efficiency, improving public transport, improving energy efficiency in new home construction, and greater use of renewable energy. Proposals also include ensuring that Canadian companies have access to international emissions credits, and the purchase of international credits by the Government.

“Establishing a clear target that will not change and recognising early action by industry will go a long way to providing the certainty that investors are seeking,” said Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal.

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